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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Washington D.C.

Updated: Oct 6, 2022



Let us help you land on your dream job here in Washington D.C.! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Washington D.C., and more!

 

Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Washington D.C.

  • Popular hospitals in Washington D.C.

  • Nursing associations in Washington D.C.

  • Contact details

 

Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more information, visit the Washington, D.C. licensing page.


*Fees may change without any notice.

 

Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting Washington D.C. Board of Nursing website. Washington D.C. has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. As a nursing compact state, Washington D.C. lets nurses obtain multi-state licenses.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to Washington D.C. Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. Be reminded that if your Primary State of Residency is not Washington D.C., you can not apply for a licensure in Washington D.C. because it is a compact state. You must declare that Washington D.C. is your Primary State of Residency to be able to do so.

 

Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Washington D.C..

  • For RN, you must obtain 24 contact hours every 2 years, where 3 of them must be in HIV/AIDS and 2 hours should be of instructions in cultural competency focusing on patients identified as part of LGBTQ.

  • For LPN, you must complete 18 contact hours every 2 years, where 3 of them must be in HIV/AIDS and 2 hours should be of instructions in cultural competency focusing on patients identified as part of LGBTQ.

  • For APRN, you are required to finish 24 contact hours every 2 years, where 15 of them must be in pharmacology, 3 of them must be in HIV/AIDS and 2 hours should be of instructions in cultural competency focusing on patients identified as part of LGBTQ.

The Washington, D.C. Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.

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Licensing and Certification


Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.


Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.


Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.

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Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Washington D.C.

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average salary is currently $89,060.


Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Washington D.C. is the right place for you.

 

Popular Hospitals in Washington D.C.

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Washington D.C. or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Washington D.C.. Here are some of them:

  • Children’s National Hospital – (Washington, D.C).:

  • Ranked No. 7 on the Best Children's Honor Roll

  • Regionally ranked #1 in District Columbia and #2 in Mid-Atlantic

  • Nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties

  • A children's general medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties include Neonatology (#1 in the nation), Pediatric Neurology & Neurosurgery (#3 in the nation), Pediatric Cancer (#5 in the nation), and Pediatric Orthopedics (#6 in the nation)

  • George Washington University Hospital – (Washington, D.C.):

  • Rated high performing in 5 adult procedures and conditions

  • A general medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Specialties include Lung Cancer Surgery, Heart Attack, Heart Failure and Kidney Failure

  • Howard University Hospital – (Washington, D.C).:

  • Rated high performing in 5 adult procedures and conditions

  • A general medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Specialties include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Pneumonia

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital – (Washington, D.C).:

  • Regionally ranked #1 in Washington D.C. and in Virginia

  • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty and 1 pediatric specialty

  • Rated high performing in 8 adult specialties and 16 procedures and conditions

  • A general medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Specialties include Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes, Gastroenterology & GI SUrgery, Kidney Failure, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

  • Medstar Washington Hospital – (Washington, D.C).:

  • Regionally ranked #2 in Washington D.C.

  • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty specialty

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 11 procedures and conditions

  • A general medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Specialties include Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes, Gastroenterology & GI SUrgery, Kidney Failure, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.

 

Nursing Associations in Washington D.C.

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Washington D.C..

District of Columbia Nurses Association “This institution has been a leader in politics and legislature. It focuses on healthcare issues in the state.”

Nation League for Nursing “This association is committed to advocating excellence in promoting nurse faculty and leadership.”

Black Nurses Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area, Inc. “This group serves as transporter of unity among Black Nurses to make sure that there is continuity of common heritage.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.

 

Contact Details

Washington, D.C. Board of Nursing

Phone: (202) 442-5955

Fax: (202) 442-4795

Email: doh@dc.gov

Website: https://dchealth.dc.gov/bon

899 North Capitol Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002


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